This tag is for questions related to usage of the past tense in English.

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1answer
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Use of “had said” in the “The Archers”

In the BBC radio drama The Archers, the following conversation takes place: A:             David, you are not going to say what you saw. You love your family, right? David:   What? A:    ...
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3answers
3k views

What tense to use here (sending an email)

What should be the correct tense: Dear XY, As agreed, I am sending / I send this email so you can find...
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1answer
4k views

Differences beetween past perfect continuous and past continuous [closed]

I would like to know the difference between past perfect continuous and past continuous in these examples: We were playing tennis when it started raining. We had been playing tennis when it started ...
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2answers
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“rain was coming till tomorrow”

I am asking this question on behalf of a friend of mine. Do tell me, can and when or why can we use past form when we predict something in the future. I agree the phrase is not full. Anyway, the ...
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2answers
4k views

Using 'would' to talk about past with examples

The following are sentences, I would take the dogs out on a walk. I would have took the dogs out on a walk. I would took the dogs out on a walk. I understood them as follows: Possible action to ...
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2answers
4k views

Why do we use the base form of verbs instead of the past form in past tense questions?

In regard to this answer, my question is similar but that answer is not clear. I want to know why we use base form of verb, e.g. 'go' to form the past tense instead of past form such as 'went'? ...
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0answers
147 views

“Texted” as past tense of “text” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to use “Text” as verb If I sent someone a text on my mobile phone would I say I texted them? We say I'll text you so now it's out there as a verb but ...
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4answers
3k views

Is “forwent” used much?

I see "forgo" used quite a bit, and "forgone" is quite common too. I can't say I've ever seen or heard of "forwent" and in fact, I had to look it up to make sure it even was a word at all. Is it ...
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2answers
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Does “not that you would know” make sense in English?

Today I was teasing a colleague of mine who keeps forgetting things. I said "You forgot because it's Friday today... Well, not that you would not forget any other day". I am not sure if it was ...
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2answers
9k views

Did vs. was in sentence [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why do we use 'did' with questions using the simple past tense? Do the following sentences have the same meaning? Did she say something? Was she said ...
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2answers
505 views

Which tense to use in this situation?

I am writing a summary for last year and I have just realized that I do not know what tense to use in the following situation: Since 2009 I have been developing a computer program. As I am describing ...
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2answers
11k views

Is “I'm headed to gym” correct grammar? [closed]

"What are you doing?" "I told you, I'm headed to gym." I read the above in a novel today. "I'm headed to gym" seems wrong to me because [please insert reason here]. Am I right?
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3answers
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How to use “offset” when talking to a vendor?

I am having a problem with the word offset. This is what I'm going to type to my vendor: If we do not receive your Statement of Account by 30 Mar '12, all payments will be "offsetted". Is it ...
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4answers
3k views

Difference between “would have” and “would” in the following

When we talk about past habitual or behavioral events, what is the difference between the following two sentences? Every once in a while I would go to this friend's house and we would get into a ...
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2answers
5k views

“I had been typing” vs “I was typing” vs “I typed”

I read this on a another forum but couldn't figure out the logic behind the answers. He had been typing for three hours before he realised that he had typed the wrong documents. He had been ...
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2answers
86k views

When do you use “talked” and “spoke”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the difference between “speaking” and “talking”? I'm often befuddled when I am reading an article and the author uses talked with when ...
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1answer
294 views

Indirect speech, past tense use

A member's post on another site has the structure: This a post I put on [site] and [member] suggested I posted here too. (emphasis mine) It appears that being reported speech, post is required to ...
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1answer
11k views

Past participle of “fly” [closed]

In a song by Coldplay, Paradise, I found the sentence Away she flied. I'm Italian, and I was not sure that flied could be a form of the verb fly or some other word unknown to me. I looked it up in the ...
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4answers
11k views

Tenses after “as if”

"I'll always remember this rule as if I had just learned it" Do you consider this sentence grammatically correct? The main clause refers to the future, so I guess that the Past Simple would ...
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2answers
763 views

Simple Past or Past Perfect

If I went to a place last night where I needed to show an id, but I forgot to have it on me. So if in the morning I was speaking to a friend(reporting on what happened), which one of the following ...
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2answers
8k views

“Until” and past perfect

Having seen one sentence in "Practical English Usage" by M.Swan (a very popular grammar book), I was really puzzled. I waited until the rain had stopped. The past perfect is generally used to ...
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4answers
16k views

Past tense of “backup”

Which is the past tense of backup? backuped backup-ed backed up backed-up The context is the following: Due to the advent of cloud-based storage solutions, the data is backed up in different ...
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4answers
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If a statement is in the present perfect, should the tense be repeated in the next question?

Here's a conversation: Speaker 1: I have already seen this film. Speaker 2: When have you seen it? [OR] When did you see it? Speaker 1: Last month. The two questions uttered by Speaker 2 ...
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10answers
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Must present perfect tense be used if the action takes place more than once?

I was told that if an action is completed once in the past, the simple past is used. Ex: I saw that movie. If the action is completed more than once, the present perfect tense must be used. Ex: I ...
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3answers
2k views

“so that” + present/past tense [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Should I say 'What I wanted to say is' or 'What I wanted to say was'? Which one is correct: Introduce additional user interface widget so that it was ...
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1answer
4k views

Past simple with today

For example, I want to say that I found a ball today. But "today" means action in present, am I right? I've already searched the Internet and it seems the right way is this: I found a ball today ...
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7answers
30k views

Is “must” ever grammatical as a past tense verb?

I have seen uses of must that appear to be in the simple past tense. Sometimes these seem grammatical, but sometimes not. Examples that help illustrate my confusion: He knew he must go to New York ...
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1answer
6k views

“Grit” vs “gritted”

Dictionary sources tell me that the past tense of grit is gritted rather than grit. Why does that sound weird to me? Am I delusional, or is this one of those words changing in current usage? Pet is a ...
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1answer
386 views

Unreal situation in the past [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Would have had to have been” vs “would have had to be” for past event conditions What's the difference in meaning between these phrases? ...
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2answers
566 views

English Subjunctive [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why have the subjunctive and indicative converged in Modern English? Why is it that in the English language, the past subjunctive is the same as the past indicative for ...
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1answer
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Past tense of “mind” in “mind your own business” [closed]

With a saying such as keep it to myself you can say the past tense as kept it to myself. How about mind my own business? Should it be minded my own business, mound my own business or something else?
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2answers
2k views

“If I was”/“If I were”: what's the right usage and why? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “If I was” or “If I were”. Which is more common, and which is correct? From what I have read so far both are correct and was is used in an ...
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1answer
2k views

“You have hidden a request sent by …” versus “You hid a request sent by …”

I have come across a couple confusing sentences when hiding (ignoring) requests on Facebook. The first response message was: You hid a FarmVille request sent by John Doe and the second was ...
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2answers
704 views

How to say “Thanks for being my friend” for past friendship

I need to send a card to refer to past friendship. Is Thanks for being my friend! grammatically correct? I would not like to use the past perfect tense to express this (e.g. had been).
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3answers
29k views

“When did you born?” [closed]

When did you born? Can you please tell me which of the items below is the literal translation of the question? When did you give birth? When were you given birth to? Also, how do we answer ...
2
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2answers
939 views

Using verb tenses correctly

I'm trying to keep this descriptive essay in the past tense. I bolded the words of my concern (and italicized the ones I believe are in the right tense) in the following passage: As a result of ...
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1answer
540 views

Is that a correct usage of present perfect?

What do you think about this sentence? Do you have bought the lesson book? Is that a correct usage of "Do you have bought"? Or should I say "Did you buy"?
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2answers
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'I get it' vs. 'I got it'

When someone tells me something, how should I respond, "I get it" or "I got it"? I have a feeling that "I got it" means "I already knew the thing before you told me," and "I get it" means "Now I know ...
2
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1answer
539 views

Is it okay to use Past Simple with Past Progressive for two consecutive actions?

Is it okay to use Past Simple with Past Progressive for two consecutive actions? For example, "She added some water to the flour and was mixing it until she got a lump of dough" or should it be ...
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2answers
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Use of the word “have”

In a menu title/button, does "have" need to be used? Is "1" okay or should "2" be used? 1) People who contacted you in the last 24 hours 2) People who have contacted you in the last 24 hours This ...
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2answers
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“Has been” vs. “was”

Should one use has been or was in the following sentence, and why? For many years the USA has been a British colony. For many years the USA was a British colony.
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2answers
756 views

Does Caesar and Augustus refer to the same person? [closed]

In this recording of a Documentary about Dark Age For three days, the great capital of Caesar and Augustusis ravaged by its unwelcome guests, the stunning architectural marvels that stood for ...
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2answers
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I thought they must be poor

How different is (1) 'I thought they must be poor' from (2) 'I thought they had to be poor'? Does (2) emphasize David did think so but that he does not think they are poor any more now that the ...
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1answer
2k views

Past tense of the verb “FedEx”

How do I write the past tense of FedEx? For example: I FedEx'd the package to you yesterday. I Fedexd the package to you yesterday. I FedEx-d the package to you yesterday. I am ...
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5answers
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Is “shined” correct? If so, is “he shined X on the tree” also correct?

Recently, I overhead a former professor of mine use the word shined, a word that makes me grammatically uncomfortable. She used it as following: "Then, after we shined a light on the other ball, what ...
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3answers
59k views

Which past tense of “to light” should I use here?

I know that there are two ways to form the past tense of to light (i.e. lit/lighted). Which one is appropriate for the sentence below? His thoughts lighted our way. or His thoughts lit our ...
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2answers
4k views

What is the past tense of this phrasal verb (double down)?

Blackjack players can "double down" after receiving their initial two cards. What is the past tense of 'Double Down'?
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2answers
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Past tense of “must” when meaning logical probability

I'm wondering how to say this sentence in the past tense: He must be very clever I have seen that the past tense of "must" is "have to" but it doesn't sound good to me to say something like "he ...
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2answers
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Past tense of 'to output': output or outputted?

According to Wikipedia, the past tense (and past participle) of the verb to output is either output or outputted. Are these two forms entirely interchangeable? Or do they have certain nuance in ...
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2answers
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Past tense vs Past participle tense [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Present perfect tense versus past tense Here is the example: I haven't spoken any English for more than 3 years. vs. I didn't speak any English over the past 3 ...